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Hey guys,

I'm looking into buying a new jazz soprano mouthpiece, and I've never actually been shopping for one of these. Any suggestions on what to get?

Mike
 

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I really enjoy the sound of the BARI .64 soprano piece. They are not too expensive and sound really nice.
 

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Dr. G gave you the guru for soprano mouthpieces with sopranoplanet. A couple other pieces to add to the list above which I have liked and weren't too expensive, were the Barone Vintage and the Morgan Vintage pieces (the Barone being slightly darker than the Morgan). Excellent response and intonation.
 

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If you want cheap to temporarily build your chops until you can really tell the difference between good and great....then go with the Bari as mentioned earlier, and send it to a refacer to have it balanced (well worth the $50 for balancing) or get a Barone.

Then build your chops and get a SopranoPlanet piece in a few months...they are the best.
 

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Drake Son of Slant is the best sounding, easiest playing soprano piece I've ever had, and I have lots. Check it out on Steve Neff's website.
 

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Drake Son of Slant is the best sounding, easiest playing soprano piece I've ever had, and I have lots. Check it out on Steve Neff's website.
Can you compare that to Joe Giardullo's "Missing Link" or "Open Sky"?

Thanks.
 

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Unless the person doing the comparisons plays exactly what I play for the same reasons, a comparison by someone else is useless, in my view. We all have different chops and react differently to different mouthpieces, plus we all have different tonal concepts. I want to sound like Bechet but you may want to sound like some modern player(s). I want to play acoustic and avoid microphones, you may want a smaller sound and put a mic on the end of your bell. We are all different.

But if the person reporting the comparison plays what I play, then I'll pay attention. For instance, for years I played Selmer's Super Session with a J facing. But someone on SOTW who played an SS-J reported discovering Morgan's Vintage line, specifically the #7 and reported that he liked it better than his SS-J for stated reasons. That did it for me - I ordered two Morgan Vintages (6 and 7) and they are wonderful pieces - for me.

Joe's mouthpieces receive wonderful reviews here. I've never played one. DAVE
 

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I play an .065 Open Sky and of the 6 sop mpcs (3 are Joe's) itr works the best for me. The thing I like about Joe is he will work with you to get it right. Three times I asked him for a specific timbre and three times he nailed it. The Open Sky gives me the broadest timbre palette of any of my pieces.
 

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Unless the person doing the comparisons plays exactly what I play for the same reasons, a comparison by someone else is useless, in my view.

But if the person reporting the comparison plays what I play, then I'll pay attention.
Exactly - If I can't get an A/B comparison, I might be happy with an A/C and a B/C to suss the relative differences.
 

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I have found that Steve Neff's recordings and accompanying commentaries have been a reliable guide to mouthpieces. I have bought some having heard Steve play them, and they have done what I wanted. I'm sure this won't always be the case, but I think it is the detail he supplies that means it works.
 

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I play an .065 Open Sky and of the 6 sop mpcs (3 are Joe's) itr works the best for me. The thing I like about Joe is he will work with you to get it right. Three times I asked him for a specific timbre and three times he nailed it.
I'm curious to learn how those conversations went - how did you share your concept of a specific timbre?

What were those goals and which mouthpieces were the best match to them? What horn are you using?

Yes, after professing to leave the evil lil' horn alone, I am back to it. :twisted:
 

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Yes, after professing to leave the evil lil' horn alone, I am back to it. :twisted:
Funny how soprano does that. I've left it alone quite a lot too, but finding great new mouthpieces like the Morgan Fry and the Drake has made it work. Just need not to be seduced by Joe's handiwork...
 

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Funny how soprano does that. I've left it alone quite a lot too, but finding great new mouthpieces like the Morgan Fry and the Drake has made it work. Just need not to be seduced by Joe's handiwork...
Amen - Joe's ad text is tantalilzing:

From http://sopranoplanet.com/2010 open sky.htm

*********************************************************************

The inspiration for this piece comes from the famous Steve Lacy mouthpiece ( a #12 Link) but the OPEN SKY is available in many tip openings, up to that huge #12 !

What makes this custom Link different is the reworking of the throat, baffle, tip, beak and chamber.

All of this is designed to produce an ultra-responsive mouthpiece that

plays effortlessly
produces a full rich sound quality with custom-designed darkness or brightness (according to your preference)
provides an altisimmo that is clear and round and instantaneous
includes original cap and ligature

The OPEN SKY is a Link in name only. It truly plays like its name implies- like the open sky!

For the individual who is serious and dedicated to truly exploring the soprano "planet", which is a lifetime journey.

****************************************************************************

Who doesn't want some of that?!
 

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Dr. G I gave Joe some reference audio of the type of timbre I was trying to obtain and then we emailed and talked on the phone a fair bit.

I play a JK SX90II which in spite of it's weird palm key initiation issues (that other SX90's that my friend who was the area test pilot said don't seem to have) and quirky intonation, has gorgeous tone. It's one where they got some things really right and some others not quite there I guess.

I have to nearly swallow the mpce to get the palm keys to perform as they should, then it's fine. No one I have talked to has been able to figure it out

The 20's French piece that I got from Joe is the darkest of the three but least flexible. Large chamber and really rich and full. great mpce for recording or small quiet ensemble.

The SR Tech that Joe completely reworked was to get the Selmer Metal Jazz mpce timbre. Quite open and little resistance which on top the JK requries good support.

All three tips are around .065. French piece went back and forth til we got it right.

I found Joe to be a really great guy to deal with. I also have a SS "J" and a couple of others in the drawer.:mrgreen:
 

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What Joe did with me was send me an old Buescher he had reworked and asked me what I thought of it. It wasn't the piece I wanted, but somehow, what
I said about it told him what he needed to know. I'm very happy with the mpc I subsequently bought from him (and he fiddled with it a bit to get it just right, for free).
He's also done work on some other soprano mpc's I sent him, and all have turned out well. I'm thinking about sending him a Super Session J to work on.
 

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Thanks, Jazz' and Red'. I appreciate your take on Joe's work.

FWIW, I love, love, love large-chambered pieces on tenor. I'm finding that they don't work the same way on sop - indeed, some custom large chambered pieces sound great but fail to intonate well for me.

I prefer to play with a loose embouchure rather that always feel like I'm pulling the horn into pitch. Whether that is a "fault" of the horn or me doesn't really matter - if they don't work, they don't work for me.

All this leads me to rethink what I need from a piece - and to try to recall what mouthpieces that have come and gone were closest to achieving what I need today. Of the pieces I currently have, the Super Session J is the best match for response and intonation - I just wish it were a little less harsh, a little more rich. I should have a couple Morgans soon, others include Meyer and Vandoren. It's an interesting quest.

Thanks again for sharing.
 
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